Of all the supplements I have reviewed over the years, fish oil (EPA and DHA) still remains as the supplement with the most research. Still, people continue to have questions about fish oil supplements. But they don't have to anymore because I want to tell you about one of the best books on omega 3 fish oil supplements I have ever read. It's called The Omega 3 Handbook. If you've got questions—this book has the answers.
The Omega 3 Handbook: A Ready Reference Guide for Health Professionals, was written by Gretchen Vannice. Gretchen is a registered dietitian and also holds a MS degree in Nutrition Science. For a nerd like me, it was the part about this book being a “reference guide for health care professionals” that first grabbed my attention.
But, soon after I bought this book from did I realize that I had a much purchase book than I thought. Not only is this book referenced (the facts are numbered in the text so I can check out the facts for myself) but the book is actually VERY easy to read!
The thing I liked most about The Omega 3 Handbook is that it's basically written in a question and answer format. Pretty much every question you ever have had about fish, fish oil supplements and omega 3 fatty acids is answered in this book.
Just to give you a taste, I want to take you through some of the facts outlined in the Omega 3 Handbook and show you how it can help enrich your life:
Page 11. While blood levels of EPA and DHA increase in a matter of hours after taking fish oil, if you took 1 gram of fish oil a day, it would take up to 24 weeks before red blood cell membranes showed increased EPA/DHA levels. In other words, some of the benefits of EPA and DHA take time before they start to show up.
Page 27. Cooking fish does not really harm the fish oils in the fish.
Page 29. Fish that's canned in water has more EPA and DHA than fish canned in oil (that one surprised me!)
Page 45. What's better Albacore tuna or light tuna? Albacore tuna has 3x as much EPA and DHA as light tuna.
Page 46. The best fish sources of EPA and DHA include salmon, anchovies, bluefin tuna, herring and sardines. Fish with the lowest levels of EPA and DHA include tilapia, cod, catfish and haddock. Most fish oil supplements in the US and Canada come from sardines and anchovies.
Page 70. Burping fishy odors is more common in the cheaper brands of fish oil supplements.
Other questions addressed in the Omega 3 handbook include
- How to read fish oil supplement labels
- Omega 3's in foods
- Fish and pregnancy
- Omega 3's and ADD
- Iodine in fish oil supplements
- Krill oil vs. fish oil
- Fish oil vs. cod liver oil
- What about squid oil?
- GLA and ALA vs. fish oil
- Fish oil and medications
- Fish oil and toxins
- What if you're allergic to fish?
- Omega 3 content of chia seeds and hemp seeds
- What are omega 3-6-9 supplements?
- Is there such a thing as organic fish oil?
- Omega 3 intake for vegetarians (vegans)
- How to choose one brand of fish oil over another
Another benefit of the Omega 3 Handbook is that while you read it, you find yourself wanting to eat more fish and find a good quality fish oil supplement. That's what I did! I have drastically increased my intake of fish and fish oil after reading this book.
Read This Book!
If you take fish oil supplements and want to know the facts, read this book. At 115 pages, you will find just want you are looking for quickly. The book packs more information about omega 3 fatty acids than any I've seen before —and does so in a way that anybody can understand. Highly recommended.
Chris Boyle says
What about the DHA in milk products? Is this a sufficient source of DHA? My 2 year old twin girls drink the milk with the DHA. Is this OK, or do they need more? Thanks!
Joe Cannon says
Chris, I would say for your 2 year olds its fine and I wouldn’t give them any DHA supplements. The book has a LOT more information on DHA though and thats why I recommended it.
“Cooking fish does not really harm the fish oils in the fish”
I think that phrase alone might inspire me to look closer into purchasing this handbook, Joe. I’m 27 now but for as long as I can remember I’ve always been sold the line that cooking fish reduces the potency of the natural oils within.
My first girlfriend was a giant personal fitness fanatic and that has kind of carried over to me so, even though I’m a rather fit guy, I’m always keeping my eyes on the future and ensuring that I’m setting my body on the best course to take me healthily through the next 40+ years.
Books like this, especially those that carry the weight of being referenced and are therefore, in my eyes, much more reliable are a brilliant resource to keep the ‘old machine’ running smoothly.
Good on you for shining a light on this particular title! 🙂
Joe Cannon says
BJ, it really was the best book I read all year. I especially enjoyed how the author was so receptive of my emails too. I’m really glad she wrote this book. I also have another website devoted to supplements called SupplementClarity.com
I hadn’t seen that, Joe, but it looks as if it’ll be right up my alley! 🙂
Joe Cannon says
You’ll be up all night with that site. I have a LOT to say about supplements 🙂
Thanks for the book suggestion. After attending a seminar by a Dr. (whose names escapes me now) who did highly recommend fish oil supplements for children – given the poor diets and sleep habits that many children have now.
We were especially interested due to the possible ADD/OCD issues my 7 year old may have. All of us in my family are now taking a fish oil supplement but it would be nice to understand it all better. Can’t wait to read the book.
Also wanted to thank you for this website. I found you because I am currently preparing to take a personal trainer course through a local college (done by W.I.T.S.). The course is not until October but I plan to read and prepare as much as possible now.
I am not sure WITS is as highly regarded as other cert programs, but it was the only hands-on (non-online) class available in my area. I figure it is a good jumping point for me to get a new career started.
If I need to, I am willing to go through other cert programs at a later date. Also very interested in nutrition, so I will probably check out your book also. Thanks again and I look forward to reading more of your articles.
Joe Cannon says
Jeanette, thanks for writing and I’m sure you will like the omega 3 handbook. Its a great book!.
I am familiar with WITS and think its a fine organization. Last year the even used my personal training book for a CEU class also. I think people can learn a lot in 6 weeks of classroom study and I believe there is also hands on instruction as well. Ive never taken WITS but I hope after you are done you will let me know what your thoughts were of the program 🙂
In my opinion, fish oil was a good source of omega-3 (EPA and DHA). It has been on the market for a very long time. A newer source of omega-3 is krill oil and is suppose to be better than fish oil (also no fishy after taste). DHA is considered the workhorse of omega-3 and fish don’t produce DHA – they get it from eating algae or from fish that eats algae, so its DHA content is very low. The best source of omega-3 now comes from squid – it has 85% more DHA than fish oil. It’s called Calamarine and it will not upset the ocean’s balance.
Joe Cannon says
Ray, I agree about the fish oil. Ive reviewed Krill oil on my other website check it out :